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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Economics with Laura: Lesson 1

Discounts; or, "It's almost free"

If an item is half price or less, it is "almost free".

If an item is 40% off or more, it is "almost almost free".

You can safely buy a few more items that you would normally buy when they are almost free, or almost almost free.

In related yet unrelated matters, food and beverages given away freely at a conference are truly free. (Even more so if you aren't personally paying the registration fee.)

If they are non-perishable, like, say, a bottle of diet Coke, it is ok to take said item with the intent to consume it... and then to not consume it that day, but at a later date. Especially if you have to get up very early to go to Swindon the next day, since caffeine keeps you awake.

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In jolly old England

Safely installed at my hotel, using the 10-quid-a-day interweb to do some work...

Initial impressions:
- My work are nice for sending me away.
- Heathrow is lovely when it's quiet, but I would've liked a passport stamp.
- Kensington is mostly swanky.
- My hotel (too tired to look for the link) is swanky too. The room is a decent size, and is swishy with Aveda toiletries.
- The room service is fast and decent.
- The TV keeps cutting out, which is annoying. But really, I should be sleeping.
- 10 quid for 24 hours' interweb access in my room is a bit of a gyp. Free broadband in a public area on a different floor doesn't cut it.
- I wish Lili was with me.

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Do I have to go to work today?


How to endear yourself to work colleagues

Me: [takes interest in someone's desktop wallpaper] Oh, what's that? [looks closer] Oh, lizards!
Him: [weary] Yes, marine iguanas.
Me: Lizards!
Him: [borderline now] Marine iguanas.


Take a look at the weather to the right. Note that the lows are in no way indicative of the actual temperature when you're outside in the wind. The blasts are very icy. Luckily I have a new coat to wear on my walk to work. I was going to post a picture, but now I've taken it off already.



A scheduled blogging hiatus

So it's not like you really expect me to blog a lot, but I thought I ought to mention the scheduled hiatus I'm about to take.

On Tuesday I fly out to London to go to a cool conference and hopefully meet up with a schoolmate or two. I'll be staying on for Friday, hopefully for an interesting meeting... And then David will join me for a weekend of fun and mooching, perhaps even a cup of tea with the queen.

(He's very keen to see her. Me, not so much, but who am I to argue??)

I'd blog more beforehand, but I'm snowed under with work deadlines, and the company president is coming to visit, so I have to be on my best behaviour. Oh, and I just got my invitation to Ravelry!!!

(Gloat, gloat. I've been waiting for ages, but now I will finally be able to see what everyone's going on about.)

Oh, and I have a million knitting projects for small people - mostly ones who aren't yet with us. There is no Christmas knitting here, but a few birthday (often literally "birth day") items to keep me very, very busy.

So I'll be here, but not. I'm sure David will keep you entertained in the interim,

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Life in Ireland

Just some bitching really.

Guess how much it cost me to tax our car for a year? Go on guess. Okay I'll tell you. €480.00. That's about $NZ930.00. So next time you're at the Post Shop and your $200-and-something car rego seems like a lot, well it's not too bad.

And an example of "customer service" (used in the loosest sense possible) from the weekend just past:
"Hello, we'd like to buy this item of furniture please."
[checks computer] "We don't have any available, and neither do any of our other stores."
"Oh... so.... do you think you'll get me more?"
"Probably, but I don't know - I'd have to call head office."
"They're not open till Monday..."
"Right... so can you call them on Monday and call me to let me know?"
"Um, no, we don't do phone calls".
"Right, so I can call head office on Monday myself?"
"No, you'd have to call here and we'd call head office."
"Right, so who would I ask for when I called here?"
"I don't know really".
[we give up]

Generally though, things are fine and living here feels more and more like normal. Autumn is setting in and the days are quickly getting shorter and colder. The last two days have been really quite cold. When walking to work, when the wind is up, it feels as cold as the height of the Auckland winter - almost "I'm skiing" cold. I look forward with a mixture and anticipation and trepidation to the real winter! At least our apartment is a sun trap and keeps very warm.

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Flashing (but safe for work)

Diane, who runs the Dublin Knit Collective, has asked knitters to flash their yarn stashes.

I have very little shame, so here's mine. And because it's been fashion week somewhere for the past week or so (New York last week, NZ this week, and I'm sure lots of other places where I've paid no attention), I'm giving them to you as collections.

The "venue"? Lovely Laura Ashley boxes hold my stash (with a ball of KidSilk Haze to give you an idea of how small they really are) - a birthday present from David.

Then the stash proper. May I present:
KidSilk Haze (or Similar) collection
Laceweight and Mothproof collection:
Being Used on my Current Project Collection
Yarn of Indeterminate Fibres collection
Sock Yarn collection
Random Slightly Scratchy Stuff collection
Wool & Cotton Blend collection

Too Much Bamboo (Maybe) collection
The Yarn for a Specific Project collection

Unmatched Cotton collection
8-ply Cotton collection
4-ply Cotton collection
Oddments collection

The link above gives you the Flickr set with all the (incredibly witty) commentary. If you can't be arsed reading it, and just want yarn porn, here's the slideshow.

And if you are interested, here's where you can find the culprit behind my expression, doing a Lien.

And that's my stash done! Looking forward to seeing everyone else's, and proving to David once and for all that I really don't own that much yarn after all.

(So please, someone else hurry up and post theirs!)

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I began a lovely pair of socks for myself recently.

And as I prepared to turn the heel (they were toe-up), I found I was short a stitch. There were no dropped stitches, I was just short one. So I frogged it all, chalking it up to my first time doing a provisional cast-on and toe-up sock, and started again.

I paid attention, I followed instructions (for once), I did everything that was asked of me (again, fairly uncommon).

I'm still one damn stitch short. How?

Best answer wins eternal adoration as my knitting goddess.


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When blogs go bad


Our blog is looking a little funny. We have our best men working on it.



We're back

We're back from our roadtrip of 996 kms. See the photos by clicking the thumbnail, or see the slide show. It was great to see some of the countyside. Co Donnegal was beautiful - as you will see! A few bleary days at work until we recover.

Oh, I plotted our route on Google Maps which I think is cool.

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(I'm gonna live forever... I'm gonna learn how to fly...)

So we've been here just over 5 months, but we've already made the national paper.

Not for illegal stuff. For knitting.

(Again, people, knitting brings good things into your life. David's started, and so has Claire, and Emily... You should think about it.)

You can't see our faces, but you can see Lili's lovely bald head and my shaggy curtain of hair-that-needed-a-brushing.

I haven't had a chance to scan the page so you can see the photo (work, ya know, it gets in the way of using my work computer for recreation), but we will eventually. And if you happen to be an Irish Times subscriber, you are most welcome to download the photo and email it to us - leave your details in the comments please!

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Although we'd intended to spend last weekend tidying and getting ready for our friend Anthea's visit, we ended up going to the Electric Picnic instead.

If you haven't heard of it before (and I hadn't, so there's no shame here), it's kind of like the Irish Glastonbury - minus Kate Moss, thank goodness.

The main activities on our agenda were music, eating and knitting.

The music bit is fairly obvious - it's a festival, after all. We saw a bunch of acts and they were great. I won't say any more because that's David's area of expertise, but I was hugely surprised by how much fun I had at the gigs we went to.

The eating - and drinking - aspect is pretty obvious if you know us - after all, I'm the one who says a country is "delicious". And delicious it was - loads of great stuff, including the best chai I've had since leaving NZ.

The knitting part - well, that's how we got the tickets. Yes, knitting! The Dublin SnBers were teaching festival-goers to knit, and thanks to a last-minute drop-out, there were and 2 FREE STAFF PASSES!!! available.

It was interesting to teach people to knit - so many Irish people remembered it from primary school... and were perplexed as to why I didn't. Apparently I sound Irish enough if you've had the odd pint or three. I wasn't sure that my technique was elegant enough to qualify me as a teacher, but it didn't seem to matter much - the main qualification required was to be able to chat and knit garter stitch simultaneously. That, at least, I managed!

I met a lot of lovely people, but my favourite pupil was David. With minimal assistance he's picked up the knit stitch rather well, and with remarkably even tension for a beginner. I'm very, very proud of him.

And that will have to do for now. I'm knackered, so it's time for some mindless tv and bed.

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